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New B.A.A Rules February 16, 2011

Filed under: Boston,Marathons — Kelocity @ 10:31 am
Tags: , , ,

I’m sure all the crazy runners have already heard, but news exploded this morning when the B.A.A. announced it’s new qualifying standards and entry process into the 2012 and 2013 Boston Marathons.

For the 2012 Boston Marathon, the faster you run, the earlier you can register. Even if you qualify, you might not get in because the people who run faster than the qualifying get first dibs.

And for the 2013 race, they are making the qualifying times even tougher by requiring everyone to finish five minutes faster than in the past.

I personally don’t have a problem with this. It’s an elite race that caters to the world’s greatest runners. That’s the allure of it. As a spectator, you know it’s going to be exciting, fast and emotional. As a runner, you know you’re running the world’s oldest official marathon race and there is history on the pavement you’re pounding.

Let me be clear — I love fast runners. I admire them. I like to watch them run. I am amazed at how athletes bodies  push through the unimaginable.  I am glad that Boston has tight standards, and I’m jealous of the people who CAN and DO qualify. I’m genuinely happy for them. They deserve it.

My problem comes with the comments of people on blogs, newspaper and facebook posts about this. They are just mean and narrow minded. And they attack the charity runners….which makes me MAD.

Some of the Comments From the BAA Facebook Page:
“As far as charity runners go, make them qualify as well. Charities are great but Boston is different than every other marathon and everyone shouldn’t be able to run it.”

“Drop the non time qualifying runners and get back to it being about time –not who donated money to whoever!!!”

Ok… first of all, I understand Boston is different, which is the draw for a lot of people. I understand that people are mad. But the BAA Charity teams raise MILLIONS of dollars for excellent causes. I hope whoever wrote those comments never gets cancer and needs the help of the hospitals and clinics who benefit from this money. If they made charity runners qualify, they wouldn’t come CLOSE to raising the funds that they do.

Secondly, If you’re a fast runner and you qualified. Why do you care if I didn’t? I’m going to be three hours behind you anyways. I understand that you think I’m taking up a spot that a qualifier didn’t get, but those slots are allotted ahead of time. Boston has increased the field to ADD charity runners, not take away from the original qualifying spots.

If you want to run an elite race with NO charity or slower runners, run this race. There you go. In order to run, you have to qualify. The end.

The money that is raised through Boston’s charity program saves thousands of lives. I wish people would see the bigger picture.

I have another solution too… why not hold another marathon in Boston? Not THE Boston Marathon, but just another marathon, maybe one that has a different route? I’d totally run it. Running in Boston is exciting. For a lot of us slower runners, I’m sure we’d love to have another option to run a full marathon in that city.

So all you faster runners, stop picking on the charity runners. We trained hard AND raised money at the same time.

Runners are generally generous, understanding and social people. Why does this Boston debate bring out the worst in people year after year? Maybe I’m just taking this too personally. But I just feel that I (as a charity runner) shouldn’t be the scapegoat here.


For my Boston Marathon Recap, click here!


4 Responses to “New B.A.A Rules”

  1. Bravo, Kelley!! I see both sides of it but am amazed at the shortsightedness of the “qualified” runners at Boston. It is I guess logical to think that if there were no charities, and hence no “unqualified” runners “taking up valuable space” that they somehow could increase the field for the “elite” (OK last pair of quote marks i promise) runners. But you bring up the good point that they added charities at the back after the field was defined. In short, there are only so many slots available to accomodate the elite qualified race portion without the race becoming unmanageable. Unfortunately, this latest change by BAA will probably only increase the animosity and grousing from this group. Good post.

  2. I really like this post, Kelley. Way to bring it back to reality! I think people have been getting way too worked up about this today.

  3. Erika Says:

    You go Kelley! You’re so right, why would anyone care if there are charity runners in any marathon? Like you said, you’re three hours behind those who are fast runners, so it isn’t like you’re getting in anyone’s way. People are just narrow minded and stupid. I think charity runners should be allowed anywhere. You’re raising money for a good cause and you’re actually WORKING for it. You’re not just selling candy or magazines, you’re working your butt off!

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